Jimmy Maymann was the head of international at The Huffington Post parent AOL and founded video distribution network Goviral, which AOL bought in 2011. In the new post, he will be responsible for boosting traffic, revenue and technology initiatives at the online news organization and will report to Huffington Post Media Group president and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington.
New York, New York – November 1, 2012 – The Huffington Post Media Group and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network today launched HuffPost OWN a new section on The Huffington Post website providing practical advice and ideas to help users find motivation, inspiration and fulfillment.
HuffPost OWN will include selections from this year’s list of Oprah’s Favorite Things from O, The Oprah Magazine’s Holiday O List, featured in the December issue, one of the most popular and recognized traditions of the Oprah Winfrey brand. The site will also exclusively feature Favorite Things trivia, a video montage of the best Favorite Things moments from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and an inside look at celebrity gifts that Oprah added to her Favorite short list.
Are you itching to become the next George Will, Keith Olbermann, or Michelle Malkin? Well, Arianna Huffington has a proposition for you tied to the launch of HuffPost Live 3,2,1…, an opinion site that goes live on August 13. Her AOL-owned company said today that it is inviting visitors to audition to become regular contributors by sending in videos “sounding off on what they are passionate about, what ticks them off, or what they’d like to see the network cover.” Those submitting the most “engaging” videos [not necessarily the most thoughtful or well argued ones, I guess] will be invited to to become regular guests. “HuffPost Live is all about engagement and making the HuffPost community an integral part of the dynamic, ongoing conversation that will be the heart and soul of the network,” Huffington says. “And we wanted to have a launch as innovative as the project itself, as opposed to a traditional top-down approach.” Does that mean viewers will vote on which pundits they want to see, sort of like American Idol? Uhhh, no. That will still be a traditional top-down decision by the editors. But the winners won’t come from the punditocracy. “People don’t want to be talked at any more; they want to be talked with,” says HuffPost Live President Roy Sekoff. “HuffPost Live” will live-stream 12 hours of original programming, five days a week from studios in New York and Los Angeles, with a …
Talk about a lose-lose situation… Recent reports say Arianna Huffington’s job duties over AOL have been greatly downsized, while Oprah Winfrey’s failing OWN remains on life support at Discovery after losing millions. So what do the two women do? Why join forces, of course. This pathetic pairing sounds to me like an ill-conceived partnership, and it’s interesting that no mention is made of AOL which bought HuffPo last year. Today the Huffington Post Media Group and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced the launch of an Oprah Winfrey section on Huffingtonpost.com coming August 2012. The special section on the website will feature content created and curated by writers and producers from OWN and Oprah.com specifically for The Huffington Post. Additionally, the section will call upon The Huffington Post’s network of bloggers and community to focus on Oprah.com content “to enlarge the conversation on living our best lives, as Oprah puts it,” said Huffington. Just what their readers don’t need: yet another artificially created dialogue. Winfrey’s OWN can’t capitalize on Oprah’s former popularity when she had her own syndicated talk show. Now analysts are betting that Discovery will pull the plug if topper David Zaslav can figure out a way to rationalize it, and all the money he’s wasted (one recent report predicts a $142M writedown), to Wall Street. As for Arianna, she was given editorial control of AOL’s online properties after HuffPo’s sale. But now she’s lost that and is only editorially in charge of HuffPo again.
You see, AOL’s numbers had been ”artificially pumped up” by “bad distribution deals,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told analysts at the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference. Now that the company is unwinding those deals, ”flat is actually up for us.” Armstrong says that he has three main priorities: increase AOL’s unique visitors, boost display advertising, and find ways to generate cash from the company’s growing Patch local news service. Armstrong plans to invest in Patch and the Huffington Post, which he says both will benefit from political advertising in 2012. “Everyone reads the Huffington Post in D.C.,” he says. Investors are skeptical about AOL’s prospects especially following the departure of several top executives; its shares are down nearly 39% in 2011. Armstrong says that “you may not like the strategy” AOL has. ”But we have a strategy.”
AOL shares are down about 11% in early trading and here’s why: Wall Street expected AOL to deliver a 4 cent-a-share profit for 2Q, and the company reported an 11 cent loss. The net loss, at $11.8M, looks better than the $1.1B loss in the same quarter last year. But the 2010 figure included a $1.4B goodwill impairment charge. This morning’s report shows that AOL generated $542.2M in revenues, down 8% from last year — but ahead of the $530.4M that analysts forecast. AOL says its big investments in hyperlocal news service Patch are largely responsible for the continuing losses. The operation serves 846 towns, 44 more than it had at the end of March; in March, AOL closed its $315M deal to acquire The Huffington Post. Revenues at AOL’s mostly dial-up Internet subscription business fell 23% to $201.3M. But the company cheered the 5% growth in ad revenue, to $319M. “AOL’s return to global advertising growth for the first time since 2008 reflects the hard work of our team and another meaningful step forward in the comeback of the AOL brand,” CEO Tim Armstrong said.
In its first earnings call since acquiring The Huffington Post in March for $315 million, AOL reported this morning that its first-quarter profit fell 86% to $4.7 million, down from $34.7 million a year ago. The integration — which includes $27.8 million in restructuring expenses related to the HuffPo deal and the reassessment of operations in India – also impacted revenue, which was down 17% to $551.4 million. Still, shares were up in early trading today after the company said its U.S. display advertising business is showing signs of life, up 11%. “Today represents an important milestone in the turnaround of AOL as global display-ad revenue grew for the first time since Q4 2007,” chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong said. “I am proud of the work completed thus far, and we remain focused on accelerating our momentum through continued execution of our strategy to become the premier digital content company.”
The news came today as part of an internal memo from CEO Tim Armstrong that was obtained by Bloomberg. It was only a matter of time for the move after AOL acquired The Huffington Post last month for $315 million. Most of the cuts will come from employees in India, but about 200 will be U.S.-based jobs. In total, that’s about 15% of the Internet company’s total work force.
BREAKING: AOL Buys The Huffington Post For $315M; Deal Signed At Super Bowl XLV; What Happens To AOL’s Apolitical Image?
AOL will pay $300 million of the pricetag in cash, and the rest in stock. Buying the 5-year-old primarily liberal political news aggregator will be AOL’s biggest acquisition since it split from Time Warner in 2009. Below is a press release (see below) just issued from AOL and The Huffington Post, which has been for sale for some time now since it was launched on May 9, 2005. Over the years HuffPo has taken in various investors so founders Arianna Huffington and her partner, former Time Warner exec Ken Lehrer, don’t get to just pocket the windfall. Arianna will stay on according to the announcement as president and editor-in-chief of the newly formed The Huffington Post Media Group which will integrate all Huffington Post and AOL content.
According to Arianna’s own behind-the-scenes account of the sale, ”my New Year’s resolution for 2011 was to take HuffPost to the next level — not just incrementally, but exponentially. Now was the time to take leaps… Around the same time, I got an email from Tim Armstrong [AOL Chairman and CEO], saying he had something he wanted to discuss with me, and asking when we could meet. We arranged to have lunch at my home in LA later that week. The day before the lunch, Tim emailed and asked if it would be okay if he brought Artie Minson, AOL’s CFO, with him. The next day, he and Artie arrived, and, before the first course …